नमः श्रीवर्धमानाय निर्धूतकलिलात्मने।
सालोकानां त्रिलोकानां यदिृद्या दर्पणायते।।१।।
I bow to Sri Vardhaman Mahavira, who has washed off all the impurities of sin i.e. karmas from His soul and whose knowledge reflects i.e., embraces the entire lokaloka.
देशयामि समीचीनं धर्मंकर्मनिबर्हणम्।
संसारदुःखतः सत्त्वान्यो धरत्युत्तमे सुखे।।२।।
Which frees souls from the pain and misery of embodied existence and instals them in supreme bliss, that excellent karma-de-stroying dharma (creed) I preach [unto you.
सद्दृष्टिज्ञानवृत्तानि धर्मंधर्मेश्वरा विदुः।
यदीयप्रत्यनीकानि भवन्ति भवपद्धति।।३।।
The Masters have described the path (to nirvana) to consist in Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct, whose
* The knowledge of lokaloka Signifies omniscience pure and simple, loka being the universe and aloka all the rest of pure space which lies beyond it. Here obeisance is offered to Bhagwan Mahavira, the last Tirthankara, on the ground of His having attained omniscience and also because He is the destroyer of the forces of karma.
The acharya, who wished to attain to the position of glory attained by the Holy Tirthankara naturally praises two of the divine qualities of the Great Master of develop them in his own soul.
antitheses [i.e. wrong beliefs, wrong knowledge and wrong conduct] are the causes which prolong the bondage of souls.
To believe, by fulfilling the eight requirements of true belief and without the three kinds of error and eight kinds of pride, in the true God, Scripture and Preceptor, the causes of the highest good [i.e., moksa], is called Right Faith.
Explanation – The belief that the Jaina Tirthankaras are the true Gods, the Jaina Sastras the true Scripture and the Jaina Saints the true Preceptors, is called Right Faith. The true believer should satisfy the eight requirements described in verses 11-18 and should be free from three kinds of error (verses 22-24) and eight kinds of pride (verse 25)
आप्तेनो च्छिनदोषेण सर्वज्ञेनागमेशिना।
भवितव्यं नियोगेन नान्यथा ह्याप्तता भवेत्।।५।
In the nature of things the true God should be free from the faults and weaknesses of the lower nature; [he should be] the knower of all things and the revealer of dharma; in no other way can divinity be constituted.
न रागद्वेषमोहाश्च यस्याप्तः स प्रकीत्र्यते।।६।।
He alone is free from hunger, thirst, senility, disease, birth, death, fear, pride, attachment, aversion, infatuation worry, conceit, hatred, uneasiness, sweat sleep and surprise is called a God.
Explanation – The Jaina Thirthankaras are free from the eighteen kinds of blemishes described in this gatha (verse.)
परमेष्टी परंज्योतिर्विरागो विमलः कती।
सर्वज्ञोऽनादिमध्यान्तः सार्वः शास्तोपलाल्यते।।७।।
He who is the enjoyer of the highest status, who is of unsurpassed splendour, who is free from all kinds of desires and impurities of sin, who is endowed with omniscience and devoid of beginning end and middle [i.e., personal aims and ambitions], and who is a friend of all kinds of living beings such a Teacher is called hitapodesi.
अनात्मार्थं विना रागैः शास्ता शास्ति सतो हितम्।
ध्वनन् शिल्पिकरस्पर्शान्मुरजः किमपेक्षते।।८।।
Jest as a drum gives out sound in consequence of the contact of the drummer’s hand, but without any desire on its own part, so does the Teacher reveal the Truth without any personal motives of his own.
Explanation – Revelation is not made by the omniscient Tirthankara because it would serve some purpose of His own, but because there is a kind of relationship of cause and effect between the quality of daya (mercy) of which He is a living embodiment and the suffering of the embodied souls.
For this reason revelation bursts forth, as it were, spontaneously and without effort, from His being at the mere sight of the suffering of others.
तत्वोपदेशकृत्सार्वं शास्त्रां कापथघट्टनम्।।९।।
That alone is true Scripture which is the word of a Tirthankara, which cannot be over-ridden in disputation, nor falsified by perception, reason or testimony, which reveals the nature of things, which is helpful to men, animals and all other kinds of beings, and which is potent enough to destroy all forms of falsehood.
Explanation – The acharya gives here the six principal characteristics of the Jaina Scripture. The word of the Tirthamkara is never in conflict with valid knowledge, however acquired; it is never couched in mystic or mythological language, but reveals the nature of things as they exist in nature.
For this reason the Jain Siddhant has nothing in common with dogmatic theology or mysticism, and is a purely scientific system of rational thought, capable of raising the human soul from the lowest depths of sin and despair and of installing it in the coveted Supreme Seat.
The next great characteristic given by the acharya is the quality of being helpful to all living beings, without exception. Daya (mercy) and ahinsa (non-injuring) being the fundamental tenets of the Holy Siddhanta, Jainism can never be ranked with those other creeds whose teaching inculcates, directly or indirectly, the taking of life for sacrifice or food.
Thus, at every stage of its activity, Jainism always tends to protect and advance the interests of all kinds of living beings.
The last great characteristics of the Holy Scripture is that it is by itself capable of destroying falsehood. This is only natural, for it is a peculiarity of the scientific method which, being commendable to the most exacting and critical intellect, cannot but destroy all forms of error, doubt and ignorance, the three constituents of falsehood.
It will be seen that Jainism proceeds by describing the nature of existing substances, dealing fully, in so far as is necessary for the purposes of religion, with the qualities or attributes which arise from their interaction in the course of evolution.
It has nothing in common with dogmatism – “thou shalt do this,” and “thou shalt not do that,” etc. nor with mystic mythology which says one thing and means quite another.
ज्ञानध्यानतपोरक्तस्तपस्वी स प्रशस्यते।।१०।।
That Preceptor is praiseworthy who has no desires for sensual pleasures, who has renounced all worldly occupations and possessions and who is always absorbed in study, meditation and self-contemplation.
इदमेवेदृशमेव तत्त्वं नान्यन्न चान्यथा।
The Eight angas of Right Faith.
The nature of substances is as is described therein, is exactly as described, is not different, nor even otherwise – this kind of unshakable faith, steady like the unwavering lustre of the sharp edge of a sword, in the Jain Siddhant is the first limb of Right Faith and is called nih – sankita anga.
कर्मपरवशे सान्ते दुःखैरन्तरितोदये।
पापबीजे सुखेऽनास्था श्रद्धानाकाङ्क्षणा स्मृता।।१२।।
Entertaining no desire for sensual enjoyment, knowing it to be hopelessly dependent on karmas, transient, involving trouble in its procurement and the seed of sin, is the second limb of Right Faith called the nishkankshita.
स्वभावतोशुचै काये रत्नत्रयपवित्रिते।
To love the virtuous for their excellent qualities without feeling disgust with their bodies, which, though impure by nature in all cases, are purified in their case by triple jewels, i.e. Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct, is described as nirvichikitsita the third limb of Right Faith.
Explanation – Non-Jainas generally express disgust at the sight of Jaina ascetics whose rules of conduct do not allow them to attend to the embellishment of their physical person.
This verse points out the proper mental attitude for a true believer-he should respect the virtues of the saint, and love him for his self-control, but should not feel disgust with the impure or unclean state of his outward self, i.e., body.
Conceived and developed in the filthiest part of the body of its female parent, full of urine, faeces, saliva and many other similar impurities, how can the body, asks the acharya, be regarded as clean ? Let him who would laugh at the dirty condition of the body of the Jaina saint remember that, in its true nature, his own body is but a basket of stinking unsightly filth covered over with leathern parchment.
There is yet an important distinction between his body and that of the saint which consists in the-fact that, while his own carcass is filled, to the full, with the refuse resulting from unrestrained sense-indulgence the saint’s contains less filth, both quantitatively and qualitatively, owing to the control which he puts on his senses.
The difference between their bodies is then reduced to this that the saint’s is actually the purer of the two, though the other appears to be more attractive outwardly. And, so far as the purity of the soul is concerned, the man who scorns the saint is nowhere as compared with him whom he likes to scorn, since the very fact of ridiculing a true saint is an indication of gross ignorance and sin.
The dirty, untidy appearance of a muni (ascetic) is a necessary step in the path of progress, and is unavoidable at a certain stage.
As a matter of fact, the attainment of nirvana is consistent only with a complete absorption in one’s own atman (soul), and necessitates the withdrawal of attention from the physical body and the outside world, so that the Jaina householder who is expected to be a pattern of cleanliness, is enjoined to gradually train, himself to neglect his fleshy ‘prison, the body of matter, and to study the well-being of his soul.
The ascetic, who has renounced the world and who wishes to reach the goal in the shortest space of time, naturally lays all the stress he can on spiritual meditation, and can ill afford to waste his time on studying such useless and progress-obstructing matters as the attractiveness of his person. Neither is he a loser in the long run, for the destruction of his ghatia.
* karmas at once raises him to the status of divinity, when those very beings who used to ridicule him fall down at his feet.
It will be now evident that those who affect disgust at the sight of a Jain monk are never likely to attain nirvana, for neglect of the body is an absolutely unavoidable necessity for the pilgrim’s progress, and he who has nothing but loathing and disgust for the kind of life which those who are striving to reach the goal lead, can never be induced to set his foot on the Path. For the same reason those who object to the nude.
* appearance of the Jaina saint also debar themselves from nirvana.
* Ghatia karmas are those energies of karma which bar the mani¬festation of the divine attributes of the soul.
* Those who find fault with the Jaina Saints for their nudity cannot be said to realise the full import of the all-absorbing contemplation one’s self necessary for the destruction of the karmic bonds.
It is no use denying the fact that karmas cannot be destroyed so long as attention is not completely withdrawn from the physical body and the world of senses and directed inwardly, without wa-vering or hesitancy, to the atman (soul) itself.
But how shall this be accomplished if the mind is worried over the ways and means of procuring even a langoti (a narrow strip of cloth worn over the private parts) ?
It is thus clear that no one who wishes to attain moksha (salva-tion) can afford to affect disgust with the holy saints for their nudity. And, so far as decency is concerned let us not forget that the point does not arise in connection with religion and art, and cannot, most certainly, be allowed to interfere with the attainment of the great Ideal of the soul.
It is well-known that most of the Scriptures of the world contain matter which would be regarded as highly indecent if met with outside the sacred literature; and no one will be found bold enough to deny that nude pictures and stat- ues of both sexes are not only exhibited publicly, as works of artf at museums and show-rooms, but also find conspicuous places in the drawing-rooms and parlours of the most respectable and virtu-ous families in all grades of society.
In respect also of the inadmissibility of the point where the Ideal of the soul is concerned, it is sufficient argument to say that all worldly ‘traffic’ would come to a stand -still should ultra-prudish notions be permitted to supplant of usurp the place of practical healthy virtue.
What harm, for instance, would not the frail little infant in arms suffer, should its parents refuse to attend to its comforts and cleanliness on the ground of its nudity ? What, likewise, might not happen to the sick imbecile whose nurse declined to attend on him from considerations of a similar nature ?
Even the marital relations between husband and wife would be rendered infelicitous, should the doctrine of nudity being tantamount to indecency be extended to the privacy of their retiring apartments.
कापथे पथि दुःखानां कापथस्थेऽप्यसम्मतिः।
Non-recognition of the authority of false creeds which can only lead to pain, and of those who are established therein, by thought, deed or word, is the fourth limb of Right Faith, and is known as
the amudhadrishti anga.
स्वयं “शुद्धस्यमार्गस्य बालाशक्तजनाश्रयाम्।
वाच्यतां यत्प्रमार्जन्ति तदृदन्त्युपगूहनम्।।१५।।
To remove the ridicule raised by ignorant [and] incompetent men on the naturally pure path of Jainism is the fifth anga of Right Faith, and is known as upaguhana.
दर्शनाच्चरणाद्वापि चलतां धर्मवत्सलैः।
प्रत्यवस्थापनं प्राज्ञैः स्थितिकरणमुच्यते।।१६।।
The re-establishing therein, on the part of the lovers of Truth, of those who are wavering ;in Right Faith or Conduct, is called; sthitikarana the sixth anga of Right Faith] by the wise.
Continued from Page 8
It will be thus evident that there is nothing indecent in nudity itself, which becomes objectionable only when it is intended to assail virtue and modesty.
This point is well illustrated by the story of certain heavenly damsels in the Hindu Puranas. These celestial ladies were once sporting in water in a tank when a young man, stark naked, passed close by them.
They were naked also, but took no notice of him and remained Engaged.
In fun and frolic as before. A little while later they saw the young man’s aged father walking in the same direction, when they immediately rushed out of water and hurriedly resumed their apparel.
The explanation of this extraordinary conduct given in the Puranas is that the younger man had no eyes for their beauty, though he passed by looking at them, while the extreme old age of the older one did not prevent his feasting his eyes on their charms.
It would be disastrous if a misplaced sense of decency were allowed to mar the progress of the soul, condemning it to continually undergo re-births in different conditions of life, the best of which can hardly be said to afford any real moments of joy.
The Jain Saint, whose vow of chastity is of the most rigid and unbending type goes about naked, not because he wishes to seduce any one from the path of virtue, but because nirvana cannot possibly be attained without the renunciation of the very last article of apparel and worldly goods.
Entertaining love and proper respect for one’s co-religionist with mental purity, and not from crooked motives, is called vatsalya the seventh limb of Right Faith.
To establish the glory of the, Jain Siddhant by removing in all suitable ways, the dense clouds of ignorance is prabhavana the eight anga of Right Faith.
तवदजञ्जनचैरोऽङ्गे ततोऽनन्तमती स्मृता।
उद्दायनस्तृतीयेऽपि तुरीये रेवती मता।।१९।।
ततो जिनेन्द्रभक्तोन्यो वारिषेणस्ततः परः।
विष्णुश्च वज्रनामा च शेषयोर्लक्ष्यतां गतौ।।२०।।
Anjana thief in the first anga, the Anantamati are remembered, Uddayana in the third and Revati in the fourth are considered most excellent. Then Jinendrabhakta, after that Varisen, and Visnu Kumar and Vajra Kumar respectively in the remaining two, i.e., seventh and the eighth angas of Right Faith have attained to fame.
Explanation –The biographies of these great personages, who have acquired undying fame by excelling in the different angas of Right Faith, are given in the Jaina Puranas and may be studied with their aid. They are omitted here, as they are calculated to swell the bulk of the book. It is not to be supposed that the person¬ages named exhaust the list of true believers; there have been many famous Jainas, though these are particularly noted for the specific qualities evolved out by them with reference to right faith.
नाग्ङहीनमलं छेत्तुं दर्शनं जन्मसन्ततिम्।
नि हि मन्त्रोऽक्षरन्यूनो निहन्ति विषवेदनां।।२१।।
As an incomplete mantra (magical formula) is powerless to remove the pain and suffering arising from venom, so is the faith which is imperfect in its limbs not able to pierce the line of [repeated] births [i.e., is not able to obtain emancipation for the soul].
गिरिपातोऽग्निपातश्च लोकमूढं निगद्यते।।२२।।
Bathing in [the so-called sacred] rivers and oceans, setting up heaps of sand and stones [as objects of worship], immolating oneself by falling from a precipice or by being burnt up infire (as in sati) are (some of the) common murhatas (follies.)
देवता यदुपासीत देवतामूढमुच्यते।।२३।।
The worshipping, with desire, to obtain favour, of deities whose minds are full of personal likes and dislikes is called the folly of devotion to false divinity.
Explanation – This verse is directed against the worship of certain powerful beings belonging to the tribe of ‘demons’ residing in the region of the universe called Patala. They are a people like unto human beings, though possessed of great miracle working powers.
They have possionate natures generally, and are famous neither for self -control nor wisdom. Several of them in the past seem to have imposed upon mankind, and some are still worshipped by unintelligent men. Their worship is the deva-murhata condemned by the acharya in this verse. As to the grounds of condemnation, perfection in knowledge and happiness being the very nature of the soul, evidently he who begs for favours from another betrays gross ignorance of his own nature.
Similarly, he who demands worship from another, in lieu of petty favours which he may be able to confer on his followers, can neither be full and perfect in himself-else why desire to be worshipped-nor be a true friend of his devotees, for the boons that he can only afford sensual pleasure which is not the true Ideal of the soul.
पाखण्डिनां पुरस्कारो ज्ञेयं पाखण्डिमोहनम्।।24।।
Know that to be guru-murhata which consists in the worship¬ping of false ascetics revolving in the wheel of samsara [births and deaths,] who have neither renounced worldly goods, nor occupa¬tions nor himsa (causing injury to others.)
ज्ञानं पूजां कुलं जाति बलमृद्धिमं तपो वपुः।
अष्टावाश्रित्य मानित्वं स्मयमाहुर्गतस्मयाः।।२५।।
The sages who have crushed out all traces of pride from their souls describe mada (pride) as the intoxication of self in respect of eight particulars:
|(i) learning||(ii) worship|
|(iii) family||(vi) tribe|
|(v) power||(vi) affluence or accomplishments|
|(vii) religious austerity||(viii) person.|
स्मयेन योऽन्यानत्येति धर्मस्थान् गर्विताशयः।
सोऽत्येतिधर्ममात्मीयं न धर्मो धार्मिकैर्विना।।२६।।
That conceited person who is led by his pride to show disrespect virtuous men, in reality, destroys his own faith, because in the absence of those who put it into practice dharma cannot have an existence.
Explanation – Religion only lives in the souls of those who practise it and can have no concrete existence by itself. Hence those who insult the virtuous in whose hearts dharma has its abode can never be religious themselves.
यदि पापनिरोधो ऽन्यसम्पदा किं प्रयोजनम।
अथ पापास्रवोऽन्त्यन्यसम्पदा किं प्रयोजनम।।२७।।
If there be cessation of sin, other things-wealth, prosperty etc., are not heeded (sinlessness being the source of bliss itself) but if the influx of sin still continue, then what purpose can be served by wealth and the like.
Explanation – This verse is designed to create the spirit of vairagya (renunciation) in the soul; for, what shall a man profit if he gain the goods of the world, but lose his own soul ? Certainly, no truly useful purpose is ever served by riches; their acquisition is associated with sin, and so is their enjoyment.
They, however, who renounce worldly possessions become heir to great prosperity and pomp in their next life, and acquire them without trouble, hence sin. The acharya, therefore, says that there is gain in the renunciation of material goods, but not in their acquisition.
देवा देवं विदुर्भस्मगूढाङ्गारान्तरौजसम्।।२८।।
The glory of Right Faith
The Propounders of Dharma describe even a low caste possessing Right Faith as a divine being likening him to the invisible radiant splendour of a live charcoal lying hidden beneath a heap of ashes,
श्वापि देवोऽपि देवः श्वा जायते धर्मकिल्बिषात्।
कपि नाम भवेदन्या सम्पद्ध मच्छिरीरिणाम्।।29।।
A dog becomes as devaand a deva becomes a dog from virtue and vice respectively : from dharma living beings obtain even such prosperity as is indescribable in words,
प्रणामं विनयं चैव न कुर्युषुद्धःद्दष्टयः।।३०।।
He who is purified by Right Faith should not salute or show reverence to false defty, scripture and preceptor, even from fear expectation of good, attachement or greed.
दर्शनं कर्णधारं तन्मोक्षमार्गे प्रचक्ष्यते।।३१।।
Right Faith is entitled to precedence over knowledge and Conduct, because it acts as a ‘pilot in guiding the soul towards nirvana
Explanation.- Right Faith is the cause of Right Knowledge and Right Conduct, and therefore entitled to precedence over them.
न सन्त्यसति सम्यक्त्वे बीजाभावे तरोरिव।।३२।।
Just as one cannot have a tree in the absence of a seed, in
the same way it is not possible to have the origination, continuance, growth (or increase) and fruition of Right Knowledge and Right conduct without acquiring the Right Faith in the first in stance.
Explanation.- Discrimination leads to Right Faith in the first instance, and Right Faith then transforms knowledge into Right Knowledge and leads of Right Conduct.
गृहस्थो मोक्षमार्गस्थो निर्मोहो नैव मोहवान्।
अनगारो गृही श्रेयान् निर्मोहो मोहिनो मनुेः।।३३।।
The householder, whose interior is illumined with Right Faith follows the ‘path’ ; but the ascetic involved in wrong beliefs is no¬where near it: for this reason the ‘enlightened’ householder is con¬sidered superior to an ascetic devoid of true faith.
Explanation.- As a rule, the ascetic has precedence over the householder, because of his asceticism : but since conduct without faith can never be pure, the acharya says that asceticism without faith is inferior to Faith without asceticiam.
न सम्यक्त्वसमकिन्चित्रैकाल्ये त्रिजगत्यपि।
श्रेयोश्रेऽयश्च मिथ्यात्वसमं नान्यत्तनूभृताम्।।३४।।
In the three periods of time and the three worlds, there is nothing more auspicious than Right Faith for the living beings, nor anything more inauspicious than a false conviction.
Explanation- Right Faith leads to all kinds of prosperity and ultimately also to supreme bliss ; but falsehood is the seed of all ;evil and undesirable conditions of existence.
दुष्कुलविकृताल्पायुर्दरिद्रतां च व्रजन्ति नाप्यव्रतिकाः।।३५।
Those whose mind is illumined with Right Faith may not observe vows, yet are they not re-born in hells or the lower grades of life : [they escape from] neuter and female sexes [as well as from birth in] a low family, physical deformity and short life : nor are they overtaken by poverty.
ओजस्तेजोविद्या वीय्र्ययषोवृद्धि विजयविभवसनाथाः।
महाकुला महार्था मानवतिलका भवन्ति दर्शनपूताः।।३६।।
Those whose hearts have been purified by Right Faith be¬come the lords of splendour, energy, wisdom, prowess, fame, wealth, victory and greatness ; they are born in high families and possess the ability to realise the highest ideals dharma (religion) artha (wealth), kama (enjoyment) and moksha (salvation) of life
: they are the best of men.
अश्टगुणपुश्टितुश्टाः दृश्टिविशिश्टाः प्रकृ‘टषोभाजुश्टाः।
अमराप्सरसां परिशदि चिरं रमन्ते जिनेन्द्रभक्ताः स्वर्गे।।37।।
Those who have the Right Faith are bom in the heaven worlds where they become the devotees of Lord Jinendra, and, endowed with eight kinds of miraculous powers and great splendour, enjoy themselves for long millenniums [here very great periods of time] in the company of devas *and devangnas
वत्र्तयितुं प्रभवन्ति स्पश्टद्दषः क्षत्रमौलिषेखरचरणाः।।38।।
Those who are endowed with Right Faith are attended upon by great emperors and kings ; they acquire all the most wonderful things in the world ; the entire earth comes under their sway, and they are competent to command all men.
दृश्टया सुनिष्तिार्था वृशचक्रधरा भवन्ति लोकषरण्याः।।39।।
By virtue if a Right Faith men acquire the supreme status of a Tirthamkara, The Master who knows all things well, whose feet are worshipped by the Rulers of devas, Lords of asuras1 and kings of man, as well as by holy saints, who is the support of dharma2 and the protector of all living beings in the three worlds.
* Devas are the male residents of heavens, and their wives are Sailed devangnas.
शिवमजर मरुजम क्षयमव्याबाधं विशोकभयशङ्कम्।
काष्ठागत सुखविद्याविभवं विमलं भजन्ति दर्शनशरणाः।।४०।।
They who take refuge in Right Faith (finally) attain to the Supreme Seat, i.e. moksha, which is free from old-age, disease, destruction, decrease, grief, fear and doubt, and implies unqualified perfection in respect of wisdom and bliss and freedom from all kinds of impurities of karma.
देवेन्द्रचक्र महिमान ममेयमानम् राजेन्द्रचक्र मवनीन्द्र शिरोऽर्चनीयम्।
धर्मेन्द्रचक्रम धरीकृत सर्वलोकम् लब्ध्वा शिवं च जिनभक्ति रुपैति भव्यः।।४१।।
The bhavya3, who follows the creed of they Holy Thirthamkaras, acquires the immeasurable glory of deva-life, and the discus4 of a chakravarti5, before whom kings and rulers of men prostrate themselves and attaining to the supremely worshipful status of Godhood, [finally also] reaches nirvana.
Thus ends the first part descriptive of Right Faith, of the Ratna Karanda Sravakachara, composed by Sri Samantabhadra swami.
1.Asuras, broadly speaking, are the inhabitants of the region called the patala loka.
2.The literal rendering would be the supporter or preserver of the wheel of dharma (religion).
3.He who has the potentiality to attain nirvana is called bhavya.
4.The discus is kind of divine weapon
5.A chakravarti is a great emperor who wields the divine weapon known as chakra.